American Sociological Association

Beyond Two Minds: Cognitive, Embodied, and Evaluative Processes in Creativity

Scholars in sociology and social psychology typically represent creativity as an imaginative and deliberate mental activity. Such a perspective has led to a view of creativity as disconnected from the body and the senses as well as from nonanalytic cognition. In this article, we demonstrate that creativity is more grounded in bodily and sensory experience and more reliant on a combination of cognitive processes than has been typically recognized. We use literature on social cognition and embodiment to build our arguments, specifically, the embodied simulation perspective and tripartite process models. We draw from data on elite chefs to show how actors rely on embodied simulations, continually switch between heuristic and analytical thinking, and monitor and control their cognitive processing during the creative process. We outline the implications of this study for the understanding of creativity and extant models of cognition and action more generally.


Vanina Leschziner and Gordon Brett





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